Friday, May 6, 2016

How are we burning calories for today ... in the front end of innovation?

How are we burning calories for today?

A client of ours used this phrase the other week, "we burned calories working through the strategy, we'd like to see if we can salvage anything from it."

The phrase caused a pause, the fact that we burn calories doing brain work and, of course, burn calories doing physical work. This concept of energy consumed and giving it some value in the conversation was intriguing. And, as we often do, we continue to noodle a phrase, concept or new perspective until it comes out in pixels and words on a page.

Here's how this phrase applies to the world of innovation and specifically the front end of the innovation methodology. Where are you burning calories along the innovation spectrum from ideation through execution?

Let's start with the burning of physical and intellectual calories. If you're in the innovation field, it makes more sense to burn intellectual calories. But, if you're really deep into innovation you likely know physical calories are also extremely valuable tinder (pardon the mixed metaphor). For instance, making physical prototypes of a concept, exercising with a team to get the blood pumping or taking a team thru a LEGO exercise is burning physical calories. We can all agree burning both types of calories is a good idea when doing innovation work. Balancing the amount of each is the tricky part. We've all wasted too many calories in meetings.











Now to the extreme challenge of determining where is it best to burn calories in the pursuit of scalable, repeatable innovation? Are you wasting calories on projects with less than ideal potential? When do you know? Well, let's turn to this recent post by Tom Fishburne (@tomfishburne), and look at this idea thru the lens of calories burned. If you've had a glazed doughnut recently you know what "easy calories feel like" and if you've worked your way thru a meal of kale and tofu, you know what hard calories feel like. Consider this the next time a project meets a gate and the calories you've had to burn getting it there. Perhaps the hard ones are worth the effort. Original Post: https://www.linkedin.com/hp/update/6132946883800219648


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Managing Principal, Capsule


Director of Digital and Social, Capsule

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